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November 25, 2019

No Shame, No Guilt: what to Remember if you’re Spending the Holidays Alone.

The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday had me feeling low.  

I was battling for custodial time with my children, grieving the traditions that have died, remembering the excitement of being a hostess, and feeling sorrow in missing my grandmother and my sense of family.

I started getting pulled into a spiral of victimhood.  

I blamed my ex for his desire to have control. I blamed my parents for not choosing me in the divorce. I blamed my brother for choosing to celebrate with my parents instead of my daughters and me. I blamed the guy I recently broke up with because we said we’d still be there for each other and then he found someone new. I began to blame my spiritual path because it felt like a huge reason things were seemingly falling apart.  

That’s when I caught myself.

I heard all that blame going through my brain, felt how heavy and out of alignment I felt, and I said, “Whoa, hold on.” It was time to take a pause and go stand on my head, if needed, but I needed to change this perspective to see if there was more going on.

As I examined all of the things above, I realized that I was grieving. And because of that I was shutting down the flow inside my heart. Which meant I was working from my ego and not my heart. Which is why I was spiraling. Which is why I was blaming and feeling so low.

Standing on my head, so to speak, shifts this. When I take the time to feel true thanks, it honestly sounds like a different story.

It goes more like this:

Thank you God for waking me up.
Thank you for putting me on a path to self-discovery.
Thank you for holding up my life as I go through this.
Thank you for finally giving me courage to choose better for myself, over and over again.
Thank you for my abilities and for showing me how my whole life has been an interconnected story of energy and love and fear.
Thank you for putting people on my path to help me learn about this so I don’t live in ignorance any longer.

Thank you for my sweet dog and for running down the beach with him.
Thank you for getting me to the sea so much.
Thank you for my connection to the ocean and to nature—and for always, always giving me that connection.
Thank you for my daughters, who are the brightest part of my life, and for being their mom in every minute—whether they are at their dad’s or at school or in my arms.
Thank you for showing me what that kind of love is.
Thank you for granting magic in my life in so many countless ways. 

Thank you God for abundance, which keeps flowing and always will because you’ve shown me that is our true, freely given gift.
Thank you for adventures, for concerts and music, and for those moments when I feel so lit up in my soul.
Thank you for boats and sunsets and good friends.
Thank you for the times when friendship has warmed me more than any family gathering.
Thank you for the times when being with a lover reminded me of a level of connection and bliss that sent me to true union.
Thank you for the quiet stillness I find, the kind where I feel you there.

My list goes on and on, but what also makes me feel really good and changes my whole mindset about experiencing the holidays alone is this: just because the rest of the country is doing the family gathering doesn’t mean I’m a loser for not. My friends in other countries will be going to work and school that day.

They show me that it’s one day—another day for us all to make and do whatever we wish. It’s just another day to be grateful for the crazy journey; another day for pleasure and fun and maybe just doing what feels really good. 

I’m not going to let Thanksgiving fool me into thinking I’m failing. I’m going to take it for its deeper intent and celebrate it that way. No shame, no guilt, no blaming anyone. I’m going to reframe anything that feels like lack and look at it upside down.

I’m going to make it my mission to stay empowered and remember the value in not doing what the masses do. I’m going to say no to feeling resentment, but instead I’m going to advocate for gratitude. I am going to count every blessing and enjoy the feeling that stirs inside me over and over again. 

~

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